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Tater Titan - project finished on 3/2/2009

 
With Apocalypse out, I decided I needed something BIG for my Orks. After all, superheavy vehicles are what Apocalypse is all about.

One of the members over on The Waaagh!, who goes by the handle of burna_boy, suggested the idea of using a Mr. Potato Head as a basis for making a Stompa. I just had to get in on such a crazy/stupid/genius/insane idea.

 

After a year and a half of work, this beastie is finally complete.

Why so long?

Well, I only worked on him when I felt inspired to. I put so much effort into this thing, I didn't want to half-ass any of it by rushing.

It's been a long time coming, but he's finally finished.

Hey, at least I beat the release date of the 'official' Games Workshop Stompa (only by a week, though)

Click on the image for a larger view.

 

 
Concept and Construction


Some of the examples in the original thread were a bit static in my opinion. A Stompa should look like it can actually stomp!

While the body shape is perfect, the feet of the stock spud are stuck together. Something needed to be done...

I decided to chop open the body and rig up my own legs while still retaining the shoes. The first step in building my "Tater Titan" was to make the stance a bit more dynamic.

I turned the body around, so the 'butt-hatch' became a 'belly hatch'. The pot-belly look really suits the stompa model.

 

I used PVC pipe for the hip axle held in place by a foamcore frame within the body. The legs are a mockup using foamcore with some Imperial Tank wheels as ankle joints.

The legs will be reworked using plastic tubing and tank wheels, but the foamcore is good enough for this stance test.

I'm not sure yet what's going into the belly hatch. Either a BIG gun, or an assault ramp for a mob of boyz.

I might keep the belly modular so I can swap in whatever I want.

Here's a mockup of how I intend the thing to look, as well as a boy next to it for scale.

Here I've started on the business end of the 'choppa arm'. I've also made some improvements to the feet and legs.

Here's the choppa arm in a rough placement of where it will be on the finished model.

Here's a shot of the 'stompy' foot and leg. You can see I'm starting to replace foamcore with actual plastic parts.

I'm using 12 guage copper wire to hold the parts in place as well as provide structure.

12 guage wire is good stuff, pliable enough to be formed and bent into shape, but sturdy enough to hold weight and retain it's shape.

Here's a shot of the 'standing' foot and leg. I've used copper wire here too, as well as a length of coat hanger running from the foot, through the leg, and up into the body for support.

Once this thing is mounted on a base, it should be pretty stable, the coat hanger will provide an anchor and the copper wire will tie it all together.

Here you see the arms are coming along nicely. There's still a lot of detail work to be done on them (wires, pistons, rivets and other gubbinz), but the structure is pretty much all there.

 

Here's a close up shot of the 'choppa' arm. It's basically a huge version of the chainsaw choppa carried by the slugga boy you see in the scale shots.

Here's a close up of the gun arm. I loved the idea of a massive gatling cannon, something that would unload rapid-fire death.

Now that the Apocalypse book is out, I may have to redesign the gun to fit in with the specs in the book. Either that or just come up with my own rules for this guy.

And just so you all know that I've gone absolutely, 100%, batshit crazy...

 

... I'm making this beasty poseable.

Here you can see I've got the face pretty much done as well as some armor plating.

I've also done some more work on the feet and legs, bulking them up and adding some detail work.

The feet are going to get more armor plating to give them kind of a steel toe boot look, but not to worry, the shoelaces are STAYING!

A close up of his cute little mug.

This is his "Angry Face"...

... and this is his "Sad Face.

That's right boyz and girlz, he's not only poseable, you can change his expression too!

A concept I've been toying with is making his right eye a gun slit with a big shoota poking out.

For those of you interested in seeing some of the 'worky bitz', here's a shot of the innards.

You can see the PVC pipe I've used as the axle, the foamcore support struts, and the copper wire holding it in place.

The foamcore struts have been cut to fit into 'feet' and 'mouth' holes of the original potato head toy.

Here you can see the interior shot with the coat hanger bit running up from the leg and into a pin stuck into the 'arm slot'. You can also see the tab on the foamcore strut that fits into 'foot slot'.

I've actually used the 'ear slots' for the placement of the arms. I think it gives the little guy a more hunched over, 'orky' appearance.

And another shot of our favorite spud.

Ain't he cute!

Some more progress has been made. I have started to cut a hole to make room for the belly cannon.

I also managed to get myself the classic bowler hat for him.

I think it adds a nice touch.

More work has been done on the metal plating covering the body.

The engine/boiler/smokestack assembly has been started.

Another shot of the boiler and the armor plating. Riveting this thing is quite a chore.

A face only a mother could love!.... well, maybe not.

It's been awhile since the last update on the guy, mostly because I was getting a bit burned out on building him.

There was also something not quite right about him, but I couldn't quite place it.

After taking a long break and coming back with a fresh perspective, I realized I wasn't too happy with the rivets on the main body.

I decided to strip them all off and start fresh.

As you can see here, the rivets are no longer made from white plasticard. They were a bit too large and too uniform.

The rivets you see now are made from the spear shafts of a bunch of fantasy orcs (yet another project waiting for me, oh man...). I sliced the spear shafts into small discs, kinda like slicing sausage only reeeeeally small.

I think they came out a lot better this time around.

I'm also starting to add some cables and hoses to various parts of the stompa, as well as getting the small rivets done on various parts of the body, weapons, feet and engine.

I gotta tell ya, the detail stage of a project is the most tedious...but also the most important.

Here you can see a bit more detail added to the ejection port on the main kannon as well as some detail work on the iron gob.

The feet have also been largely finished.

I had to redo the toe spikes since I wasn't happy with them the first time around.

I've also added tread to the bottom of the shoes and some 'style stripes' to the sides to give them that running shoe look.

After all the plasticard work was done, I slapped on the rivets. These were made from plasticard using a small hole punch.

Here's a close-up shot of the belly kannon, complete with a co-axial mounted big shoota.

The 'belly gun' mount is modular so I can create multiple weapons for it, that way I can tailor this bad boy to whatever mood I happen to be in.

The arms on this thing are also modular. The tater titan will probably have several weapon loadouts in the future. I really want to make a 'toaster' weapon configuration, all with big flame-belching weapons, as well as a 'zapper' model with a bunch of crazy looking energy guns.

First things first though, let's get the 'dakka' configuration finished.

Another round of detailing has been done to this bad boy. Along with more riveting, the weapons and powerplant are pretty much finished.

Here's a shot showing the gun arm and a couple of the 'grot rokkits'. These little one-shot-wonders add a lot of character to the machine as well as being pretty effective anti-tank weapons in their own right.

A shot of the powerplant, showing the second exhaust stack.

The chainsaw arm and another 'grot rokkit'.

Here's a close up shot of the engine exhausts. The large exhaust pipe on the left is a chimney from the Games Workshop Manufactorum kit.

The compression chamber and small exhaust in the middle is from the Chemical Plant kit by Pegasus Hobbies, just like most of the other engine bits.

Here's a close up of the chainsaw arm, showing some engine and exhaust bits.

The exhaust pipe is from the same Chemical Plant model kit I mentioned above. The vent plate is a Forgeworld piece.

The other side of the chainsaw arm, as well as a menacing shot of the 'grot rokkit'.

Here's a close up of the gun arm. I did quite a bit more detail work on this baby. Hyraulic pistons on the arm, tons of rivets, a heat shield for the gattling cannon, and a mounting rack for a 'grot rokkit'.

Rear shot of the gun arm.

A close up of the 'grot rokkits'. They're custom built from plasticard, some bits, and the shells from a 1:35 scale Sturmtiger model.

There's a "How To" for them in the Tutorials section.

Here we are! Construction on this beast is complete. I've added a base made from MDF board. The foot is attached to the base with liquid nails and wood screws. He's not going anywhere.

He can now stand on his own, no more propping him up with the cap from a bottle.

I've also mounted a twin-linked big shoota to the hat and carved in a whole ton of dings, scuffs and scrapes.

Here's a close up of the big shoota on the hat.

And an aerial view as well.

Here he is all dismantled and ready for primer.

One last dramatic pose before paint.

 
Painting

Here he is after being primed flat black.

Word to the wise: Make DAMN sure you paint any pieces of foamcore with a brush before you break out the spray paint.

The propellant in spray cans eats styrofoam (which is a component of foamcore). It had been so long since I'd worked on the legs, I completely forgot there was still unprotected foamcore in there.

His legs were so wobbly that his 'stompy' foot actually came clean off. Some superglue and liquid nails fixed him right up, and then I touched up the primer.

Here all his metal pieces got a liberal drybrushing of Tin Bitz.

I left the hat alone. I want it to be a slightly different color than the rest of the titan.

After the Tin Bitz coat dried, I gave him a drybrushing of Boltgun Metal.

You can just make out the Tin Bitz below the surface of the Boltgun coat on the teeth and gob.

I think it produces a pretty convincing rusty metal effect.

Here's his chainsaw arm, looking extra choppy with some paint on it.

And the gatling cannon.

I couldn't resist doing the brass effect on the shells in the ammo drum.

Here we see more paint on this bad boy. Right now I'm just blocking in the solid colors.

That's why he's got that saturated "explosion-in-a-paint-factory" look.

Don't worry, he'll look all dingy, dirty, and beat to s**t by the time I'm done.

Side angle showing more colors.

I'm still working on how to put some color on the rear of this thing.

Eh, something will come to me...

The other side with colors.

Here I have the painting stage all but completed. The weathering and battle damage are all done as well as the rest of the detail work.

After a year and a half, this beast is finally ready for some dullcoat varnish and some glamor shots.

Another angle of everybody's favorite spud.

Side shot. I really like how muddy his shoes look.

Back shot showing the engine and exhausts

The gun arm with the Grot Rokkits

Here's the lighting effect on his eye. After two days, three seperate attempts and countless washes of various green colors I'm finally happy with how it came out.

Close up of the gunner.

Grot Rokkit on the right shoulder. Preflight checklist complete and ready to ruin somebody's day :-)

The other two Grot Rokkits, "Smiley" and "Sharky"